The prosodic cues of wh-exclamatives in Bari Italian


  • Glenda Gurrado Lelia, Università degli Studi di Bari



wh-exclamatives, prosody, acoustic analysis, emotional connotation, sense of surprise


The communicative function of exclamatives is based on the concept of salience. Specifically, wh-exclamatives convey a scalar implicature of highest degree: their value is always surprising. Although intonation plays a key role in disambiguating the sentence types, the literature on the prosody of exclamatives is still scarce. The present research has two main aims: 1) verifying the phonetic cues of wh-exclamatives in Bari Italian, by means of a comparison with wh-interrogatives; 2) verifying if the emotional connotation affects the prosody of exclamative sentences. The findings revealed that some cues were more involved in the characterization of wh-exclamatives than others and that exclamatives with opposite emotional connotations did differ at a suprasegmental level.